Does your kid get enough exercise?

Most Indian parents keep a regular tab on the studies of their children, but when it comes to exercise, we think the evening play time with friends and sorts period at school are enough

When children start going to school, mostly we think that they must be getting enough exercise at school and do not worry much about his physical activity while at home. But, often at school, children get 30-40 minutes of sports, on alternate days or even lesser and that is not enough!

ICMR studies, published in 2010, report that majority of Indian school going children fall in the sedentary activity category and do not get enough exercise!

So how much exercise is needed for kids?

The recommendations for exercise in children are the following:

Children need at least one hour of physical activity every day, which should include:

  • Aerobic activity: running, brisk walking, cycling, skating, swimming at least 3 days a week, vigorous activity should be done as much as possible
  • Bone  strengthening activity: running or skipping/jumping rope, at least 3 days/week
  • Muscle strengthening : gymnastics or push-ups, pull ups, crunches etc., at least 3 days/week

Benefits of exercise in children and adolescents

Exercise regularly will help young people to

  • Develop healthy  bones, muscles and joints; the peak bone mass density is obtained during childhood/adolescence and has bearing on height, functional capacity and lifelong bone reserve
  • Develop healthy heart and lungs
  • Develop better coordination and movement control
  • Maintain a healthy body weight; childhood obesity is increasingly being linked to earlier onset of diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Build self-confidence and social interaction and adaptability

Children need more physical activity at home, not only to get all the recommended exercise, but also to form a habit of exercising regularly in the morning or in the evening, so that when they are grown men and women, it is not a pain to get into exercising regularly!

CHECK OUT: Family FHI references for children’s health